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Forcing Apple to cooperate with the FBI isn't the same as requiring seat belts in cars

To the editor: I couldn't disagree more with David Lazarus' justification for the FBI's attack on Apple and consumer privacy. He compares Apple being compelled to provide a backdoor to the locked iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters to carmakers being required to make safety upgrades. ("Car makers had to install air bags; shouldn't Apple have to hack its iPhone?" Feb. 23)

Seat belts and air bags are logical defenses against inherent dangers posed by automobiles. The FBI's attack on the iPhone and consumer privacy rights is part of a long-term strategy by the federal government to snoop on all Americans 24/7 through smartphones and the Internet.

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Ex-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wanted to keep a database on Americans, including their politics and sex lives. It wasn't technologically possible in his lifetime, but it is now. Anyone who believes the software the FBI is demanding to unlock this particular iPhone will only be used this once is naive.

I'm 100% with Apple on this.

Mark Gabrish Conlan, San Diego

..

To the editor: Lazarus is just wrong. Air bags and seat belts are intended to protect us against ourselves. They do not contain personal details such as credit card and bank account information, Social Security and driver license numbers, business transactions and other information that could be used to destroy our lives when in the wrong hands.

We use our smartphones as a computer, not just for communication, and as such they should be kept private and under our personal control. The FBI should find a different way to access that particular phone or use its vast resources to find the information it seeks.

Les Benedict, Reseda 

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